Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Volvo Trucks Introduce Bluetooth As Standard To Avoid Road Haulage Mobile Phone Prosecutions

New Federal Regulations Arriving Shortly to Match European Standards
Shipping News Feature

US – WORLDWIDE – News that Volvo Trucks in North America has introduced its Bluetooth equipped radio as standard equipment on all VN and VHD models will please many road haulage operators who might be in the market for a new freight hauler in the New Year as the long awaited federal ban on hand held mobile devices when driving comes into force on the 1st January.

Bluetooth technology of course can be viewed as a double edged sword as discussed in our June article regarding traffic tracking measures to mitigate disaster scenario’s. Any Bluetooth device can be traced and whereabouts recorded and, despite protestations that anonymity is preserved some will doubtless consider the spread of Bluetooth as another invasion of privacy. For most however the technology is a welcome addition to the ever growing arsenal of useful devices available to ensure driver safety.

Volvo’s standard Bluetooth radio package includes a radio unit, a highly sensitive microphone mounted in the overhead console, and full audio delivered through the truck’s speaker system. The integrated design allows drivers to view pertinent incoming and outgoing call information on the vehicle’s Driver Information Display. Frank Bio, Volvo Trucks product manager explained details of how their system operates:

“While the Bluetooth system utilizes the highly visible Driver Information Display, the unique Volvo integrated system prioritizes critical driver messages, like active safety alerts or vehicle operational warnings. The information hierarchy we’ve developed and integrated into our trucks means phone calls will not impede drivers from receiving the vital information they need about their vehicle or driving conditions. The system extends the phone’s features, such as answering the phone by pushing one button, as required in the regulations.”

Photo: Volvo’s Bluetooth-equipped radio unit (top) will sync with mobile phones, allowing drivers to conduct calls through the truck’s speaker and microphone system. The Driver Information Display (bottom) relays call information, but prioritizes critical driver messages so phone calls will not impede drivers from receiving important information.